And not a friend in sight ! Parel Vallei flank Minawa Gesha finds himself surrounded by Windhoek
High players during his side’s 5-27 defeat at the Windhoek Desert Festival at the beginning of
April. Neither side managed to win its game at Wynberg on Saturday. (photo: Elma Salt)
The eagerly-anticipated annual Wynberg Winter Sports Festival started on Saturday 29 April 2017, with scores of rugby, hockey and even soccer sides in action in this beautiful suburb.
The seven 1st XV clashes all managed to produce positive, attractive rugby, although the stifling heat was unrelenting, peaking at around 36 degrees in mid-afternoon.
The pick of the teams was definitely the much-vaunted KES side from Johannesburg, while locals Durbanville, Rondebosch, Wynberg and SACS did their reputations the world of good, spreading the ball wide at every opportunity and reaping their just rewards on the scoreboard.
DF Malan (0) 17 Upington (0) 10
The 8:00 kick-off took a while to get going as the very young DF side – only four matrics – struggled to get the measure of their older and larger opponents in the early stages.
However, a firm half-time chat by experienced coach Bertus Enslin did the trick and the Bellville lads put together some lovely driving play in the second period, aided by the clever tactical use of the boot by slightly-built flyhalf Heinrich van der Watt, the Man of the Match.
After several years in the relative doldrums, DF now boast a 6-1 win record, their only setback coming at home against a very classy Charlie Hofmeyr side back in March. This performance went a long way to confirming their renaissance.
Parel Vallei (5) 12 Hugenote (5) 15
For all their commitment to promoting the game in their particular patch of the Helderberg, Parel Vallei must be kicking themselves for not getting a positive result out of this match.
No doubt hamstrung by the absence of SA Schools coach Lance Sendin, who was running his eye over the talent at the Wildeklawer event, the Blackies were unable to use their superiority up front to establish a consistent attacking platform and might even have lost this match, were it not for the introduction of Brent Manuel at scrumhalf after half-time.
As it turned out, this somewhat frustrating encounter ended with the teams only separated by a penalty by Hugenote centre Jaymian Steyn.
Durbanville (19) 55 Lydenburg (15) 22
The Durbies quickly silenced anyone who doubted their current rise in strength as they subdued their up-country opponents before making good use of their superior fitness as the lads from Mpumalanga wilted visibly in the heat.
The fact that all nine of their tries came from the backs underscores the attractive style which has come to characterize the northern suburbs side.
Man of the Match, full-back John Mentoor, was in imperious form, scoring twice as did centre Dennian du Toit and left wing Cole Fisher.
This performance was a powerful statement that Shaun Huygen’s charges have no intention of ceding power in their part of town to arch-rivals Stellenberg.
SACS (21) 49 Bellville (7) 12
The most noteworthy aspect of this game came early in the first half when both sides lost their playmakers at the same point with the score at 14-7.
The Young Ikeys’ centre Jordy Hop left the field for a precautionary check after a midfield collision, while Bellville’s Dan Aspeling had to be helped off nursing what appeared to be a nasty leg injury.
Nick Maurer’s lads settled into their pattern early on, subduing the opposing pack, in whom lock Xavier Haupt, it must be said, was a tower of strength, before putting the backs away with the resultant clean ball.
Up front the main movers were workhorse loosehead Ethan Burger, hooker Anathi Kalipa and flank Sujai Ikemefuna, each of whom was rewarded with a try.
Michael Abrahams stepped up to the tee to excellent effect on Hop’s departure, adding all five of his conversion attempts, while centre Chad van der Loo emerged from Hop’s shadow to cross the whitewash for the first time this season and replacement wing Zolani Masembathe put his hand up with two lovely five-pointers in the closing stages.
Bishops (0) 14 KES (26) 35
This proved to be something of a mismatch as the visitors completely overwhelmed an at-best- disjointed Bishops outfit, adding insult to injury by making use of the Platinum Blues’ expansive trademark rugby in the process.
Brothers Leon (outside centre) and Kennedy (full-back) Mpeku were the destroyers-in-chief as KES treated the very large crowd to a marvellous display.
The contest was over well before half-time, the Jo’burg side taking their foot off the gas after the break, relying on three penalties to pad their already-comfortable advantage.
That Bishops actually managed to score two tries probably owes much to their opponents’ relaxation, such was the erratic handling amongst the local backline.
Rondebosch (7) 40 Tygerberg (0) 12
A glance at the half-time score should tell one that this game started at the hottest point in the afternoon.
Both teams seemed intent on conserving their energy, anything remotely approaching inventive play by the three-quarters being kept to a minimum for the first forty minutes or so.
After the break DJ Falconer complemented his first-half five-pointer with another two as Bosch ran in five tries, the last of them coming from captain Robbie Davis’s scrumhalf understudy Jaco Barnard.
Another weapon enjoying increasing prominence in the well-stocked arsenal at the Canigou Carnivores’ disposal is the fine goalkicking of flyhalf Hugo Minnaar, who has slotted seamlessly into the starting line-up with the shifting of van der Bijl Blake back to inside centre.
The Tygers didn’t just lie down and wilt, but gave the Premier A powerhouse a good run, not least in the forward exchanges, in which loose forwards Tiaan de Witt and Edja de Meyer acquitted themselves particularly well.
Wynberg (24) 45 Windhoek High (15) 29
A glance at the result will leave you under no misapprehension: the young Lovers Walk combination did not have things all their own way.
This was another game in which the goalkicking featured strongly, the only conversion not to sail over the cross-bar being an angled effort by the Namibians’ pivot Delron Brand.
The exchanges were pretty even throughout, thanks largely to the mountain of work undertaken by the visitors’ no. 8 Oderich Mouton, a shoo-in for Man of the Match, who also found the energy to dot down twice.
Simple constructive play won it for the hosts, with 7,8,9 and 10 all crossing the line as a consequence of the sturdy foundation laid by the pack.
Monday’s 1st XV programme is effectively a game light as neither SACS nor Bishops is playing ahead of their meeting in Rondebosch on Saturday. The most promising fixtures see Durbanville take on Windhoek at noon and DF Malan face Swartland at 14:40.
The two remaining local big guys, Wynberg and Rondebosch, shouldn’t have to resort to afterburner-mode to beat Lydenburg and Hugenote respectively.